From Far Away
"Wufei, do you know that this forest is haunted?" Hilde spoke up. They
were riding their horses through the forest.
"I heard the rumor." Wufei shrugged. "We didn't know if it is true or
not. Beside this forest is the only way for us to reach Sank without
having to break through hundreds of Romefeller's men. Haunted or not,
we have to take the risk."
"AAAAAH!!!" Relena sudden shout startled everyone.
Duo turned to see Relena's horse go berserk. "What the..." He didn't
have a chance to finish his sentence as his horse went wild too. One
by one, every horse started to buck wildly, trying to throw their
"What's wrong with the horses?" Quatre shouted while trying to calm
his horse. He had to grip the horse's grub tightly if he didn't want
to be thrown off.
"I don't know." Wufei had managed to calm his horse. He quickly
dismounted and helped Relena with her horse.
Heero and Trowa easily managed to tame their horses and went to help
Duo and Quatre. Noin and Sally also had tamed their horses and went to
help Hilde. Although all the horses had been tamed, the animals
refused to walk. So they decided to leave the horse and walk through
the forest on foot.
After walking for half an hour inside the forest, Heero and the others
came upon the ruins of a church.
"I never thought there was a church here." Noin stepped forward and
checked the ruins. The others spread out to check the surroundings,
trying to find someone or something.
Duo studied the ruined church. Almost all of the building was black,
burned. The sign that let it known that this place was a church was a
burned cross among the ruins.
"Find something, Duo?" Duo turned and saw Hilde standing next to him.
"I don't think so, Hilde. How about you?"
Hilde shrugged, "There's nothing here. I guess we have to continue our
Duo nodded and turned to check the others but Hilde stopped him. "Hmm,
Duo. Can I ask something personal?"
"Sure. What is it?" Duo wondered why the girl was fidgeting.
"Uhm..." Hilde blushed but she asked anyway. "Do you have a koi?"
"A koi?" Duo raised one eyebrow in wonder. Didn't everyone have a koi?
Many koi? "Of course I have a koi, Hilde. Heero is my koi, and so are
you, Quatre, Trowa, and the others."
Hilde stared at Duo in surprise. "Duo, do you know what the meaning of
koi is?" Hilde had known that Duo was from far away island since she
had asked Quatre about him.
"Yeah, Quatre told me. A koi is the one you care for, isn't it? Like
he and Trowa? They care for each other." Duo began to feel something
Hilde slapped her head. "Quatre, I should've known it. That blondie
has too mild language."
Hilde looked at Duo intensely. "Duo, a koi is a person you care most,
M.O.S.T. about. We only have one koi, no more, no less."
"Only one??" Duo was confused.
"Yes, a koi is the person you want to spend your life with. The person
you want to be with you all the time. In other words, a koi is your
Duo's jaw dropped in surprise and horror as Hilde explained the
meaning of koi to him. A koi was a lover! Not a friend. "A koi
is......oh God.....and I told Heero he was my koi???" Duo buried his
head in his hands.
From the distance, Heero watched as Duo talked with Hilde. He felt
jealous at how the girl staring at Duo. After all Duo was his koi, not
hers. She shouldn't look at Duo tenderly like that. Then Heero noticed
that after Hilde had told something, Duo bowed his head.
Feeling curious, added with jealous, Heero used his Power to control
the wind to bring their voices to him.
"What do you mean, Duo? Do you mean to say that Heero is not your
koi?" Heero growled as he heard Hilde talking about him. How dare she.
Of course Duo was his koi. But then Heero felt like being struck by
lightning when Duo spoke up.
"No, Hilde. Heero isn't my koi. When Quatre told me that a koi was a
person I care for, I thought a koi was like a friend. Since Heero is
my friend, I told him that he was my koi. Oh man, I've screwed up
badly. And to add to the situation, I even told Heero that I was his
Heero cut down his Power. He didn't want to hear about this any
longer. Duo didn't think of him as his koi...only as his
friend....Heero chuckled bitterly. Of course! Leave it to the braided
baka to mess up with words. He had known that Duo had the tendency to
misunderstand new vocabularies so he should have been suspicious when
Duo brought the new word to him.
But instead of questioning Duo further about the meaning of the word,
he accepted what Duo told him and let himself believe that someone
finally wanted to be his koi, someone cared for him. Ah, Duo cared for
him.....but only as a friend while Heero wanted Duo to be more than
just a friend. Heero shook his head. No, he was too greedy for hoping
like that. He should have been satisfied that Duo cared for him as a
friend. It was more than enough for him.
Heero looked back at Duo who was still talking to Hilde. Well, nothing
would change, would it? Duo would still treat him as a friend and he
would always protect that braided baka as he had promised the first
day he had met him. Heero felt stabs of pain in his heart, but he
steeled himself. He was used to the pain. Pain of being rejected,
exiled, abandoned, or treated like animal. This was not as bad as
those,........ wasn't it?
Hilde was happy. At first, she felt disappointed when Duo said Heero
was his koi but then she found it was all a misunderstanding. That
meant Duo didn't have a koi and she still had a chance to be the one.
Hilde had wanted him when she first laid her eyes on the boy at the
arena. Duo was all she dreamed of, handsome, cool, cheerful and
affectionate, judging from the way he treated Heero. "So what are you
going to do, now Duo?"
Duo looked at Hilde dumbfounded. "What am I going to do?"
"Yeah, shouldn't you tell Heero about this misunderstanding? I know
it's hard since he thinks of you as his koi, but you have to tell the
As Hilde spoke, Duo looked like someone who had just been struck by
lightning. He just realized that Heero didn't object when he told him
about being his koi. //Wait a sec! Heero knew that a koi meant a lover
and he didn't mind me being his koi! That meant....he wanted me as his
lover too?!// Duo felt delighted at the realization. Here he was
worrying about how to tell Heero about his feelings toward the stoic
boy and it appeared that he had told it without realizing it.
"Duo? Are you okay? Do you want me to tell Heero about this
misunderstanding?" Hilde's voice snapped Duo out of his thoughts.
Tell Heero about this misunderstanding?? No way!! This was what he
wanted, why should he tell Heero about the misunderstanding while
Heero also wanted him as his koi? Duo couldn't wait to be alone with
Heero, to kiss and hug him just like a lover did. "No, Hilde. Don't
"Because I care for him, Hilde. I care for him like...." Duo didn't
manage to finish his sentence as he saw something emerge from the
ruined church, making him shout in surprised. "CHRIST, what is that?"
Heero focused his eyes back to Duo as he heard Duo's shouting. His
eyes widened as he saw something black and HUGE emerge from the ruins.
It was almost as big as a two story house.
"Duo!!" Heero shouted as he ran toward Duo. As he saw the big black
thing approach Duo, Heero tackled Duo, pushing him away from the
"What is that?" Duo gasped, on the ground as Heero pressed above him.
"I don't know. It could be a monster." Heero quickly stood up as the
black monster approached them and craned one black arm. Wasting no
time, Heero unsheathed his sword and detached the arm from the thing.
"Move away, Duo."
Duo quickly complied. He stood up and ran out of the monster's reach,
pulling Hilde with him to join Sally and Noin. Then he saw Trowa, who
had arrived, followed by Quatre, they examined the chopped part of the
creature. Trowa lifted the arm liked thing and it quickly loosened
into many black strings. Trowa studied the strings and found out not
all them were black. Some of them were brown, red, and also blonde.
But the dominant color was black, nonetheless. "This .....is made from
humans' hair." Trowa and Quatre looked at each other.
"Damn, this thing is strong!" Wufei, who had arrived, jumped into the
battle and tried to chop another arm off, which tried to reach Relena,
but his sword stopped half way, making him wonder how strong Heero
really was. The stoic boy seemed to cut it without trouble while Wufei
had to use all his strength to cut an inch into it.
Meanwhile, Heero was still fighting the creature. It had numorous arms
craned over-head and Heero cut every arm, which tried to reach Duo and
blow up the other ones who tried to capture him with his Power. The
creature seemed to know that Heero was the most dangerous one. It
pulled all its arms, which were trying to attack Wufei, Duo and the
others and focused them on capturing Heero.
No matter how strong Heero was, he couldn't fight all the arms at one
time. One arm managed to capture his waist and it pulled him into the
creature. Heero tried to fight but another arm managed to lock his
arms, pulling him closer to the black creature. //Damn, this thing is
annoying.// Heero growled as he felt another arm encircling his neck.
Suddenly he was pulled hard and within a second the creature was all
"Heero!!" Duo watched in horror as Heero disappeared into the big
creature. //It engulfed him!// He leapt forward, trying to help Heero,
but Trowa stopped him.
"Let me go, Trowa!!!" Duo struggled, but Trowa held him fast.
"Duo calm down. If you go there, you will be engulfed by it too."
Quatre spoke up and helped Trowa to restrain Duo.
//Damn it! Heero!!// Duo felt really helpless as he saw the creature
engulf Heero completely.
Duo jumped in surprise. He could hear Heero in his mind. <:<Heero?? Are
you okay there?>>
<<Yeah, I'm still fighting inside here.>>
"EEEEKKK!!" Duo turned as he heard Hilde's cry and saw the creature
was splitting itself into some parts. The parts started to approach
them while the biggest part, where Heero was, stood still where it
<<The creature sent parts of itself to attack us!!!>>
That was the last thought from Duo as Heero felt his connection with
Duo cut off. //Run, Duo. Run! All of you are no match for this
"Everybody, spread! Try to stay in a pair." Wufei shouted. "We have to
find its weakness!" As Wufei commanded, they spread out into to
groups, trying to evade and find the creature's weakness. Quatre with
Trowa, Sally with Noin, Wufei with Relena, and Duo with Hilde.
Duo was trying to evade another arm when he felt his surrounding
become blurry. "Hilde?"
"I'm here, Duo." Hilde took Duo's arm and ran, forcing Duo to follow
her. "The fog is coming. We have to get out of here or we'll have the
same fate as Heero's."
"I won't leave him, Hilde." Duo stopped running and turned to the
direction where he came. But Hilde stopped him.
"Duo, there's nothing we can do to save him. The monster is too
Duo shoved Hilde's hands away. "There must be something I can do!
Heero is still alive in there!" Duo started running back but suddenly
he felt the ground beneath him crumble and he fell down.
"Wufei, what was that?" Relena tugged at Wufei's shirt to get his
attention. The fog was now so thick that they couldn't see the person
in front of them.
"I think it was Duo, Relena." Wufei walked slowly, trying to
acknowledge his surroundings but it was useless. They were like blind
persons right now.
"I hope he and Hilde are okay."
"We could only hope, Relena. Right now, we have to save ourselves
Back to Heero, he was still trying to fight the creature off. Using
his Power, he managed to blow the arms that tied to snare him but
every time he did that, more arms came and tied to make a grab for him
again. //This is useless.....I have to use all the Power inside me to
blow the creature entirely.....// Heero closed his eyes. //I have to
concentrate....have to control the Power....//
The creature seemed to sense what Heero was going to do. It suddenly
tightened its arm around Heero's neck, causing Heero to choke and gasp
in surprise. As he opened his mouth, trying to find the air, Heero
felt something invading his mouth. To his horror, he realized that it
was one of the creature's arms.
Heero choked and tried to push the arm out of his mouth but the arm
thrust deeper instead. The size of the arm was very small for the
creature but big for Heero because he felt his jaws being forced open
even further to accommodate the arm's width. As the arm reached into
his throat, Heero felt a strange sensation rush into him. It was the
sensation of his past; the past he had tried so hard to forget.
Duo looked at his surrounding. It was dark again. Where was he, now?
Was he dreaming again? Duo discovered out that he somehow was
restrained by invincible ropes. He couldn't move any muscles, except
for his head.
The braided boy widened as a scene appeared in front of him. He saw
the nine years old boy, from his previous dream, lying on the ground,
bare chest. A woman knelt over the boy, one hand strangling the boy's
neck while the other hand holding something.
Duo was surprised when he acknowledged it was a knife that the woman
held. Before he managed to react, the woman swung the knife slashing
the boy's chest. "Monster! You're a monster!"
"Mother! Please stop!!" Duo could see the blood from the boy's chest.
And to his horror the woman kept swinging the knife, slashing the same
place over and over again. "Monster! Don't call me mother! You are not
my son, you are a monster!"
The boy cried in pain. "Mother! Stop it! It hurts!! I'll die!"
"Die? I have tried to kill you for years and yet you live!" The woman
stopped the knife and pointed it to the boy. "You're a monster. I have
to kill you."
The boy struggled "Mother, please. I am human, not a monster."
"Human? You aren't human!" The woman cried hysterically and buried the
knife into the boy's abdomen. The boy cried in pain but the woman
pushed the knife till it couldn't go deeper inside the boy. "This is
the prove that you aren't human!" To Duo's horror, the woman twisted
the knife inside the boy, making the boy howl in pain.
"NO!!!" Suddenly the boy raised his hand and a light emerged from his
palm, throwing the woman against invincible wall.
The woman cried as her back hit the wall. "AAAHHHHHH. It hurt!!!
Help!! Save me from this monster!!!"
A man that Duo saw in his previous dream as the boy's father suddenly
appeared. "Stop disturbing him." The man helped the woman to stand up.
"Disturbing him??!!!" The woman began to scream again. "He is the one
who disturbed me! He always calls me mother!"
"You're his mother." The man tried to calm the hysterical woman.
"I'm not! I'm not a mother of that monster!!!!" The woman cried out.
"I have tried to eliminate this monster but he is still alive! No
matter how many times I stab him, his wounds always heal almost
"He has to live, you know it. We have promised to born and raise him
in exchange for the wealth of our village."
"I hate him!! I wished I never had to born a monster like him!!" The
woman screamed loudly and then ran away, dissolving into darkness.
For some moments, all Duo could hear was his own heart beat and his
own breath. He breathed in rage. How could a woman do this cruel thing
to her own child? She was the one who deserved to be killed to torture
her child like that.
"Da....Dad...." In his rage, almost Duo forgot about the boy. He saw
the father turned to see his child. Duo followed the father's look and
closed his eyes in reflex as he saw the boy's condition.
"God...how could she do this....to her own child...." Duo opened his
eyes again, forcing his eyes to see the boy. The boy was lying in a
pool, created from his own blood. His neck was bruised while his chest
and stomach were bleeding. The knife was still buried deep inside the
boy. The only visible part from the knife was the hilt on the boy's
stomach. The boy panted, trying hard to breath. It was clearly that he
was hurting and tried to find something to ease the pain.
The man stepped forward but he didn't do anything. He merely looked at
the boy and spoke coldly. "Stay away from her."
"Da..." Before the boy managed to finish, the man had walked away and
disappeared into the darkness, leaving the boy alone, bleeding and
hurting. The boy didn't speak anymore; he just lay there unmoving,
except for the rising of his bleeding chest.
Duo cried out in rage. How could they do that?? To their own son!!
They left him dying and bleeding there. He struggled against his
restraints, trying to free himself and so he comfort the boy. But his
effort was futile as the invincible ropes kept him still. Finally
exhausted, Duo ceased his struggling and looked at the boy again.
He was surprised when he saw the boy's hand move to the hilt of the
knife that was in his stomach. Duo winced as the boy started pulling
the knife out of himself, hissing in pain. //How could his parents be
so cruel?! Maybe I am lucky to have no parents....//
The sound of a metal clanking to the ground indicated that the boy
finally managed to pull the knife all the way out. Duo watched as the
boy slowly sat up, then he stared in surprise at the gapping hole in
the boy's stomach. And to his further surprise, Duo watched as the
gap slowly closed, leaving a thin line on the stomach. Then the line
disappeared completely, leaving no trace that the stomach had never
been torn by a knife before.
Duo ran his eyes to the boy's chest and found that all the scratches
had been healed too. The only sign that the boy had ever been hurt was
the bloody chest and stomach. "I am alive...." Duo could hear the boy
say the word bitterly. And suddenly he realized that all the ropes had
disappeared; he could move freely now.
Quickly, Duo made his way to the boy and knelt beside him. The boy
didn't seem to notice Duo. He still bowed his head and looked at his
bloody hands. "I am bleeding.......I'm human...right?" Suddenly the
boy dropped his hands and chuckled bitterly. "A human would have
surely died from the blood loss...."
"No! You're human!" Duo couldn't stand looking the boy hurting
himself. He threw his arms around the boy and hugged him tightly.
"You're human! It is not your fault that you can heal fast. God, I'm
very grateful that you can heal fast or you would've died from that
wound." Duo tightened his embrace as if wanting to protect the boy
from the cruel world he lived in.
"Duo, wake up!"
"Finally, you are awake." A pair of golden eyes greeted him, making
him sit up in surprise.
More to his surprise, Duo noticed that the six years old boy with
golden eyes was floating. "Who? What? Where?.." Duo was having
difficulty clearing his mind after having such intense dream.
"I will answer your questions later. Right now, you better stand up
and run." The golden eyed boy looked worried. "It is approaching you."
Duo was confused but he stood up nevertheless. "What do you mean by
it?" As if on cue, Duo saw something black moving closer toward him at
a rapid speed. "Oh, no!"
"Run, Duo! Follow me!" The floating boy flew in front of Duo and led
him in a certain direction.
Deciding to trust the boy, Duo followed him, running as fast as he
could to avoid the black creature. He didn't know how long he had ran
until suddenly he arrived at an area where the fog didn't reach.
"We are safe here. The creature couldn't go further without the fog."
The golden eyed boy stood in front of Duo, still floating low above
Duo looked at the boy, panting. "It is that black creature, which
created this thick fog, isn't it?"
The boy nodded.
"So can you explain to me what this is whole about? And how do you
know my name?"
"First, let me introduce myself. My name is Solo. I know your name
because a girl cried it loudly when you fell from declivity."
"You can see me through the thick fog?" Duo was surprised.
"Yes, the fog had no effect for me."
"You saw me but you didn't help me?"
The boy sighed in regret. "I want to help you, Duo but I can't."
"Why not? You can..." Duo widened his eyes and dropped his jaw as the
boy flew through his body. "....You are a ghost?"
"Yeah, you can say that. You have seen the ruined church, haven't
you?" As Duo nodded, the boy continued, "The church was used as a
orphanage. I was one of the children there. Although we didn't have
any parents, we were quite happy to have many friends." The boy gazed
far away, drowned in his own memories. "Then on one hot night, the
orphanage was on fire. We didn't know where the fire came from but
when we woke up, it had surrounded us. We tried hard to break through
the fire and escape. I lead the children and made it into the front
door when the building collapsed and buried all my friends. I watched
in horror as my friends were burned alive. All the children died on
that night except me."
"Only you survived?"
Solo nodded. "Not too long though, I died five days after the accident
because of the infection from the wounds I got while trying to rescue
my friends." The boy pointed the ground beneath him. "My body rested
Duo looked at the ground but it didn't show any sign of something
"The creature you saw, Duo. It was made from the children's lost
Duo stared back at Solo in surprise. "That creature is....a union from
the burned children's souls?"
"Yes...They felt angry that their life had been very short. They
wanted to live longer, to play longer. It was their rage that caused
them the fact they couldn't rest peacefully and turned out to be the
awful creature you saw. They attacked every people who came near the
church, wanting them have the same fate as them." A tear trailed down
on Solo's cheek, then the boy looked at Duo pleadingly. "I need your
Solo nodded. "Only you can help me, Duo."
"How? I don't have any special power."
"But you have a kind heart and the most important that you can see and
"Can see and hear you? You mean the other people can't see or hear
Solo shook his head. "No. Only you can see me, Duo."
"But why me? Why am I the only one that can see you? And how did you
know only I can see you?" Duo was really confused. Of all the great
peoples, why only he could see Solo? He didn't have any special
abilities to make him able to beat the creature.
Solo smiled sadly. "I am a ghost, Duo. I know about you more than
other people know. So believe me, only you can help me."
"What do you mean by 'you know more about me'?"
"You have this ability to see what other people can't see, Duo."
"In other words....I have the ability to see ghost?"
Inside the black creature, Heero had ceased struggling. The creature
had the ability to reveal his past and that was exactly what it was
doing at the moment. All he could see was blood, his own blood. Heero
didn't notice that the creature had its arms on him. His wrists were
restrained by some arms and spread apart. One arm encircled his chest
and the other encircled his waist. Then more arms appeared and held
his legs, spreading them apart too. Heero was now in spread eagle
position. But he didn't acknowledge how dangerous his condition was.
His eyes were empty, drowning in his past. He did choke when the arm
around his neck tightened but his choke was unnoticeable since his
throat had been filled by another arm, stopping all sounds from him.
"I am not the mother of that monster!"
His mother's words echoed inside his mind while the creature pulled
his arms even apart.
"I wish I never had to born a monster like him!!"
The creature spread his legs more widely as if wanted to tear him
apart. Heero's body had protested but his mind was too numb to give
any reactions. Again, his past invaded his mind. This time he heard
his father's voice.
"Stay away from her."
The arm inside his mouth thrust deeper to his throat, trying to get
deeper inside Heero's body.
"You are human!"
Heero blinked as he recognized the voice. It was Duo.
"It's not your fault!"
The stoic boy was aware of the pain in his body, the pulling arms on
his wrists and legs, and the invading arm inside his mouth.
"I am glad....."
An image of Duo flashed in his mind, shoving his past away. Heero
remembered at how worried Duo was when he was hurt and how glad Duo
was when he knew Heero was okay. The braided boy had always treated
him like a normal human.
Heero felt the arm around his neck tightened even more. He growled and
focused his Power. No, he would not die now! Duo still needed him. He
had promised to protect Duo. Blue aura surrounded Heero as his Power
focused. He had to get back to Duo! With a loud feral growl, Heero
released his Power to all directions, blowing the creature up
"What's that?" Quatre and Trowa heard an explosion near them and
headed to the sound's direction. As they walked, they noticed the fog
around them become thinner. Quatre could see the ruined church now and
there was someone standing near it.
"Heero!" Quatre shouted happily as he recognized the person. "You are
They quickly approached Heero. Trowa was really curious at how strong
Heero was. The boy seemed fine, no scratch or wounds.
Heero saw Quatre and Trowa approaching him, shouting his name but he
didn't answer them. He was panting and feeling strange sensation
inside his body. This was the first time he ever released his Power
with that much strength and the result was deadly. The creature was
torn into tiny pieces, which retreated back to the ruined church, not
daring to attack him again.
The stoic boy felt his body trembling as the after effect for
releasing such strong Power. //I over used my Power.// He panted and
hugged himself as he felt his body's cells started to change. //No!
Stop it! I don't want to be something that is not me.// Heero
collapsed on the ground as every cells of his body throbbed painfully.
//Stop it! I don't want to change like they always want me to!!//